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Author Topic: Fondle Slabs  (Read 5494 times)

Offline Hinfrance

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Fondle Slabs
« on: August 23, 2011, 05:10:49 PM »
Having only ever seen these things covered in filthy fingerprints in various shops, I have had a chance to see a couple of different tablet devices close up and personal as the last two sets of summer holiday visitors have sported respectively an Asus Eepad Transformer and an iPad*.

My conclusion is that although I can see how they could be of some commercial use to a salesman, from a personal device point of view they don't make any sense, other than as a fashion accessory. They cost more than twice as much and do significantly less than half as much as a netbook. In fact our iPad owner has spent almost all day using his little HP netbook. I've been casually observing him and he spends rather more than twice as much time on the netbook as his does on the iPad. Our Asus owner used it most of the time with the keyboard attached so he could type more easily. Typing on either of the screens is a PITA quite frankly.

The thing is they are not nearly compact enough to compete on the basis of portability - both the iPad and the Asus are physically larger than the netbooks, although thinner. It also surprised me how heavy they are. I also cannot see the benefit in a touch screen. It requires far larger hand movements than a synaptics touch pad, and touching it leaves smears that degrade the display output.

The iPad looks great and is well made, but the screen is the wrong shape. The Asus has a decent enough wide screen, but the use of the detachable keyboard, albeit doubling the battery life to around 20 hours, seems a bit daft - it just makes it into a more cumbersome overpriced netbook.

So I see how such a device makes perfect sense for Jonathan, but I can't help feeling most purchasers are little more than label Mabels. I can see a lot of these things ending up in the K-Tel cupboard under the sink in due course.

*iPad owner is 17 btw.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 05:12:40 PM by Hinfrance »


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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 05:24:14 PM »
The only gadget that makes me laugh with pity is the Netbook.  Srsly, what's the point?  (Bear in mind I took a 15 inch MBP to the rainforest with me)

BTW the Kindle rocks.  Big time.  But the web interface is like the 1970s - you need a proper 'puter to buy books on.  Or an iPad obvs.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 06:35:10 PM »
You might be right Jonathan, but as I type this I see that teenage man is still tapping away on the netbook (Ubuntu 10), with its order of magnitude larger memory and real keyboard.

And he's been using said netbook to skype his girlfriend in the States because the iPad won't hold the wifi connection even less than 3 metres from the N class router. But there is nothing in this world or the next that is teenager proof.  ::)
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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 08:10:18 PM »
OK, i'll give you another spin.

I have a Toshiba laptop, 13 inch screen Win 7, 500gb HD and 4gb ram with 256mb dedicated Nvidia graphics. And it's portable. But it's not exactly compact. It has 5 hours of battery life.

My iPad2 is the 64gb version and holds the wifi very nicely, especially when using the hotspot feature with my iPhone (which means any where it can find a satellite.)
Unlike a Netbook, my iPad will happily import and process the 21mb RAW files from my 5D2. Unlike a Netbook, i can happily leave the keyboard at home if i don't have a need, or much of a need. Unlike a Netbook, that needs WiFi, my iPad can hook up to my iPhone via Hotspot and access the net etc so long as the phone can find a Satellite in the sky or a mobile phone signal.

Yes, it cost more, but it does a lot more, and synchs in with my iMac and Lightroom in a way that a Netbook could only dream of. For photography, an iPad is an ideal mobile platform to work with. Oh yes, and displaying those lovely photos on a Netbook would probably get a "oh nice" where as on an iPad it might just get a sale. And that scrolling of pictures with a swipe of the finger is far more intuitive than clicking on some arrow with a mouse or touchpad.

Yes, i'm a fan of the iPad, and almost never leave home without it...

Offline hevans

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 07:56:46 AM »
We've been contemplating getting a tablet for home use. We just bought a net book for our (soon to be) 9 yr old daughter, we figured at half the price and twice the toughness it might just survive better.

The netbook is probably better than a tablet for word processing, spreadsheets, data input than the tablet (obviously if a keyboard and mouse are attached to the tablet then this point is somewhat moot, although that severely limits the portability of the device).

My own feelings of the primary usefulness of the tablet is that (like an oversized smart phone) it switches on quickly/instantly and there's less pfaffing about to get to the activities for which it is designed: web browsing, playing music and showing photos. With web browsing, etc. you just want to quickly get to the browser and start looking - with the tablet even the physical access is quicker (you don't have to open it up).

As to which to buy...I'd prefer an android version rather than stuff further money into the evil apple empire. It's a matter of freedom to use the device as I want (not the various qualities of the device), with the apps I want without having to get apple's permission (and their handling tax). The comparably priced android versions are identical in functionality to the ipad, so there's not a massive technical reason to sell your soul to Jobs. The downside is there's a wide diversity to choose from, that I'm wondering which might be the most optimal, I quite like to look of the Samsung Galaxy tab. ???

I'll probably get one one day...but I can wait.

H.

PS. Oh yes, the kindle rocks! The web browser is "experimental", though, and the type of screen (smart paper) just isn't as responsive as the LED/LCD screens (also B&W), so it obviously isn't tuned for multimedia frenzies. I haven't had any problems with getting books (Amazon's site with whisper-net) is very well integrated. Although most of the books I've loaded on it are out of copyright, and downloaded from project Gutenberg. ;)

Offline Oldboy

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 08:16:37 AM »
The downside is there's a wide diversity to choose from, that I'm wondering which might be the most optimal, I quite like to look of the Samsung Galaxy tab. ???


The Samsung Galaxy must be as good as the Apple hence, why Apple have said it's a direct copy of the iPad.  :P

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 08:54:53 AM »
The downside is there's a wide diversity to choose from, that I'm wondering which might be the most optimal, I quite like to look of the Samsung Galaxy tab. ???


The Samsung Galaxy must be as good as the Apple hence, why Apple have said it's a direct copy of the iPad.  :P

Not so sure about that OB. The iPad is really well integrated and smooth at what it does - the problem is that it doesn't do much. It is device for media consumption, and if that's what you want then there is probably none better. Although the Galaxy is widescreen, so better for TV and movies.

I took a picture last night of our group of youngsters in the lounge. The girls (10) are bent over one netbook, the neaderteenager is bent over another. The iPad, although switched on and the display emitting that legendary shininess™, is lying on the floor ignored.

It's not old codgers like me who need convincing tablets are the future it's the yoof. And yoof seems to prefer a netbook and a mobile 'phone. As an aside neanderteenager used to have an iPhone, but changed it for an Android one because  . . hell, I don't know, because he's fickle?
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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 09:14:01 AM »
I feel a need to correct some disinformation about tablets as a general ( i can't think Android are any worse than Apple for this)

Typing a document is every bit as easy using the on board keyboard as any Netbook or laptop. The rate at which i can type using this device astounded my wife (who is a touch typist), and when adding the bluetooth keyboard, there is no difference at all. Granted, you don't have all the features of MS Word, but then i rarely have need to create a fully featured Word document whilst on the move.

The spreadsheet Apps really are coming along nicely and are certainly becoming a match for Excel, as are the Powerpoint equivelant.

I agree that it is not a full laptop replacement,and is very much a media platform at this point. However, tablets are being used in all areas of industry now because of there size and ability to be configured and locked down, and updated with such ease. I suspect the Android version will become a bigger seller in this market due to price.

Ultimately, these devices are personal devices designed to be configured to the needs of the owner/ user. For a Photographer, they are absolutely marvelous, and soo much more convenient tan any laptop or Netbook. But i do accept that they are not to every ones taste in much the same way one brand of camera is more preferable to some than others....

Offline hevans

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 10:15:20 AM »
Typing a document is every bit as easy using the on board keyboard as any Netbook or laptop. The rate at which i can type using this device astounded my wife (who is a touch typist), and when adding the bluetooth keyboard, there is no difference at all. Granted, you don't have all the features of MS Word, but then i rarely have need to create a fully featured Word document whilst on the move.
I'll have to take your word for the typing. I touch type, and find the on display keyboards quite uncomfortable (no tactile feedback on keystrokes).

The spreadsheet Apps really are coming along nicely and are certainly becoming a match for Excel, as are the Powerpoint equivelant.

Out of curiosity, have you tried to use photoshop or attempted image editing on them yet? If so, what was the experience like?

I agree that it is not a full laptop replacement,and is very much a media platform at this point. However, tablets are being used in all areas of industry now because of there size and ability to be configured and locked down, and updated with such ease. I suspect the Android version will become a bigger seller in this market due to price.
I wonder how much of this is because of the paradigm shift in operating systems and platforms. The boot process of tablets is completely different, as are the operating systems. The older OS (Unix, Windows, etc) have lots of backward compatibility dead wood and basic design assumptions due to the underlying hardware platform that these new devices don't have to even consider. As an example, the BIOS in a PC (windows, mac or Linux) dates from the 80's. It's one of the reasons the boot process can be so slow.

Ultimately, these devices are personal devices designed to be configured to the needs of the owner/ user. For a Photographer, they are absolutely marvelous, and soo much more convenient tan any laptop or Netbook. But i do accept that they are not to every ones taste in much the same way one brand of camera is more preferable to some than others....

Yup, currently they are media display devices. I wouldn't try to run a monte-carlo simulation or other high end tasks on them. But then the battery on a laptop doesn't last long in these circumstances either (and it's not nearly as fast as the 64core 128Gb server). However, as a terminal into a server running the simulations, it could be quite convenient.

Can you get multiple user accounts on tablets or are they considered "personal" devices (like MS windows 20 years ago, where the design assumption was that it was a personal machine, with the ensuing problems later of trying to provide multiple accounts on the platform).

In the end, you can use a screw, a nail, a rivet, glue, or a weld to join two materials. Which one is best is determined by the job that needs to be done and the costs.

H.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 10:58:56 AM »
S'funny.  In January last year people were telling Apple that the iPad was a solution to a problem nobody had and that they had no place in the market.  And I was telling people the Kindle was dead.

Now Apple are selling 100,000 a day (and other manufacturers are experiencing their own halo sales of about 20% of this).  And I have a Kindle.
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Offline hevans

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 11:31:45 AM »
S'funny.  In January last year people were telling Apple that the iPad was a solution to a problem nobody had and that they had no place in the market.  And I was telling people the Kindle was dead.

Now Apple are selling 100,000 a day (and other manufacturers are experiencing their own halo sales of about 20% of this).  And I have a Kindle.
The only prediction you can accurately make about the future is that the predictions will be wrong (but by how much is another matter).

Offline birel101

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 01:18:58 PM »
I had a android tablet but took it back ( like most of the world is doing) they get slow, great apps are a rarity and now there is this problem with malware? whatever that is. I then bought the ipad, and another, like the advert says they just work and never have I had a problem with wifi, my 3 and 6 year old loves them and so do I when i finally get to sit down all my "media consumption" is done using it. the only time I really use the pc is for editing now.
 I can't really see all these other tablets lasting, hp has abandoned there's after 3months? shame really as the web os looked better than android.

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 02:09:54 PM »
Try looking at http://andrzejdragan.com/ to name but one of thousands of web sites an unmodified iPad can't see. It's a black screen on the one I'm looking at at the moment.

They don't 'just work', they 'just work where Apple says it's OK they can'.

There are for example, according to my guest neanderteenager, a host of youtube videos that are unavailable; I have no idea why.

To my way of thinking the iPad is the best of the bunch, but it's too heavy to use comfortably for long periods, and in deference to Andy's earlier comment about typing on the screen, I simply find it a complete pain. I have a conceptual difficulty with finger smears all over the display. It's the tablet device's window on the world, but it's almost always filthy.

What I don't doubt is that they will all get better, lighter, faster and possibly more focused. To find a place in our living room they will have to get a whole heap cheaper too. In the USA over the weekend the massively discounted HP Touchpads have sold out, webOS being killed off or not.

Tablets (and by implication Apple) have created a whole new market and Apple are quite rightly, on the basis of what little I have seen, the top dogs in it.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline birel101

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2011, 02:47:41 PM »
Were they $99 or something silly? i would have bought one for that price but who will make apps for them?. The main reason I  took the droid tab back was anything to do with flash it ran so slow, so I'm glad there isn't the use of flash on the Ipad tbh, If you use the youtube app on the Ipad it will play all content I would have thought, never had a problem with that really.
If your worried about visiting stunning sites before the change to Ipad friendly:) like you linked (awesome portraits) then get a Netbook but photographs look shite on those IMO or leave it to the laptop or desktop.

Offline hevans

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Re: Fondle Slabs
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 03:17:13 PM »
If your worried about visiting stunning sites before the change to Ipad friendly:) like you linked (awesome portraits) then get a Netbook but photographs look shite on those IMO or leave it to the laptop or desktop.

Is the Ipad display calibrated? can it be recalibrated? Does it need to be?

It's not unusual to spend time calibrating your computer screen to ensure it matches the printed version. I remember visiting Doorhof's studio, where he had tethered to his phase one a 20" calibrated screen, and above a 50" Samsung flatscreen TV. The photos straight from the camera looked great on the flatscreen and muddy on the monitor because the flatscreen imposed it's own built in contrast filter to the inputs to make the blacks blacker and give an attractive contrasty shot.  He said the customers loved the photos on the flatscreen and he had it there for their pleasure, but if he sent to the printer the same shot, it would match the less contrasty version on the monitor.

So...my question is: how do photos on the iPad (or any other tablet) compare with the same image on a calibrated screen? Not that it makes much difference to my ageing and myopic eyes.

Ta.
Hugh

PS. Not trolling, genuinely interested in the performance of these things before I shell out hard earned cash.

 

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